In somewhat of a surprise move, Mazda chose to unveil the next generation of its mid-sized sedan, the Mazda 6, at the 2012 Moscow auto show.
The production model reflects the styling cues shown on the Mazda Takeri concept car revealed at the Tokyo Auto Show in December 2011.
The vehicle will be released in 2013 as a ’14 model and features a pair of 4 cylinder engines. The new Mazda 6 will incorporate its Skyactiv technology as well as its stop/start system to reduce engine idling. The system reduces carbon emissions and boosts fuel economy. Another boost in efficiency comes for the new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. Power from deceleration and braking is stored in a capacitor that powers the car’s electronic accessories.
The engines listed at the launch, although Russian spec models, may not differ significantly from North American offerings. The new 6 will come with a pair of 4 cylinder gasoline engines; a SKYACTIV 2.0L producing 148 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 155 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm as well as a new SKYACTIV 2.5L gasoline engine, 189 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 189 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. The 2.0L is offered with either a six speed manual or six speed automatic transmission. The larger engine comes standard with the auto-box.
The new platform has been shortened by 56mm (2.2 inches) yet the wheelbase has been made longer 44mm (1.6 inches) by pulling the front wheels forward and reducing the front overhang. A longer wheelbase usually results in a smoother ride.
Mazda’s use of high strength steel has also allowed designers to shed some body fat, 100 kgs to 170kgs depending on engine choice.
It should be interesting to see what packaging arrives on North America when the new Mazda 6 goes on sale early next year.